about Marco & Music
Marco is a Dutch singer/songwriter, entrepreneur, designer and music producer currently living in Zeist (Utrecht). Born in the town of Best, in the south of the Netherlands, he then lived with his parents and younger sister in various places in the Netherlands and in Belgium, at regular intervals of 2 years, until he moved to Spain at the age of 14, at 16 age to Hong Kong, and back to Europe to live on their own, at the age of 18 (France).
Also because he received violin and piano lessons at a very young age, music was always important to him. Being left-handed, he struggled somewhat with especially his violin teachers until he dropped the violin at the age of 13 and taught himself how to play the guitar, "because all my friends convinced me that violin for er... was 'sissies' and that only a guitar was cool". Less than 6 months later, Marco joined a band called 'Tilt', which is still active as a band, albeit with a completely different line-up.
In Hong Kong, Marco joined ˜The Dregs' as a rhythm guitarist, and a few years later in France he formed a new band called ˜Lyrique', along with 2 friends from Madagascar, as lead singer and rhythm and bass guitarist. “Even now I have absolutely no idea how on earth I managed to play both bass and rhythm at the same time, but I did, oooh what a great double-neck that was. I sold her 20 years later, for a lot of money, yes, and I desperately needed it at the time, but nevertheless it felt like I sold her out, and I regretted that for a very long time.”
It was -already- 2 years later, when Marco left France for Spain and Portugal, that he stopped making music altogether, to focus on a career in shoes, just like his father and grandfather before him. First as a freelance shoe production supervisor and later as a successful children's shoe designer, he lived and worked in many different places in the world, Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, Brazil, USA, China, Indonesia, Taiwan are among them. “I even lived in the Netherlands for a while in the 1980s for er… yes, you guessed it, two years… …or was it just one year?”
After a short career switch from international footwear to Spanish real estate, he moved back to the Netherlands, with “a backpack filled with super high ups and extreme downs plus 276 euros in my pocket, a Dutch passport and a just used one-way plane ticket. So I arrived in Rotterdam rather penniless, it's been more than ten years but it feels like yesterday. That's a good thing, I think, because it reminds me of where I come from and especially what I'm capable of.”
When asked what happened to music, he replies: “In the beginning, after I arrived in the Netherlands, which I thought was a boring, small, uh… mainly boring country, I was very busy doing everything rebuild what I thought I lost, I'm talking about material things. I was extremely sorry for myself, which made me both angry and sad, and I felt a constant emptiness inside me, which I constantly tried to fill with meaningless things like a Mercedes Benz convertible, a huge 4 bedroom house with a fireplace , all the things I obviously didn't need and couldn't afford, but I thought I somehow deserved it.
Then once I got it, it wasn't enough, and I wanted more. And more. Same with booze. Always more, never enough. At some point I became aware that I wasn't living my life, had never really 'lived' my life, but somehow I was always 'surviving', so I forced myself to make substantial, even radical, changes in order to survive.
Then I started making those changes, not all at once or in one day of course, but gradually, with a lot of patience and help from quite a few people.
I bought a violin and a guitar and started playing again. I was already writing poetry, but for my 50th birthday I decided to turn one of my poems into a song. I called it 'Moonlight', posted it on my internet blog and a few months later 'Moonlight' was played on internet radio. The funny thing is that the violin I played as a child, and it went with me to Spain, the Far East and France, until I gave it away over 40 years ago now. Then, 30 years later, around the time I was recording "Moonlight," that violin found its way back to me through-through! True! Anyway, I continued to write songs and literally started performing for people through charity. An average of 20% of all my gig proceeds and songs, sometimes more and occasionally all of it, still goes to various charities that I love to contribute to.
I've found that if I keep music to myself, it's ineffective, it has no power. The power of music is that it connects. It connects me to people, of course, but it also connects me to everything around me; it motivates me. I believe that music is a gift from 'somewhere', let's say Universe, and I have to do something with it before I pass it on.
If I choose not to accept that gift, do nothing with it, keep it to myself, or not pass it on, I become ungrounded, disconnected, unsatisfied, unhappy. That's how important music is to me. It controls me so that I am free in my doings. And, no less important, music ensures that I stay well balanced in my other activities such as designing, entrepreneurship, education.”
Interview 'Who Is Who', Hilversum, March 2022